CHICAGO -- County governments across the country are attempting to get relief from unfunded state mandates that are eating into their revenue sources and hampering their ability to fund some programs, officials say.

County officials claim their revenues are being gobbled up by a fiscal monster created by the New Federalism movement that was begun by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. During that time, the federal government cut back funds for states but continued to pass laws that added to state expenses. In response, state governments began passing unfunded mandates on to counties, county officials said.

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